By Sahid Fawaz

Six weeks ago we launched our first ever Buy Union, Buy American Week, featuring the great work of the members of the United Steelworkers. It was a terrific success, reaching more than 300,000 people via social media. Every other week since then we have featured a new union or group of unions in an effort to build awareness for union-made, American products. Those unions include the Building Trades unions and the Teamsters. We are happy to announce that on Monday, May 20th, we are launching the Support the United Food and Commercial Workers Week.

By Michael Messina

The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, in which 146 garment workers died in New York City’s garment district, has lived in infamy in America’s labor rights history. But it also acted as a catalyst for unions and others to make workplaces safer. Will the Bangladesh factory collapse that has claimed the lives of over 1,100(!) people, do the same?

We have to wonder, what price are consumers willing to pay for a cheaper shirt or to save a few dollars on a new pair of pants?

By Melissa Bobrowicz

Spring is in full swing, especially here in Los Angeles. Before summer starts and BBQ season officially begins, we over here at Labor 411 can appreciate the art of lounging around outdoors on a warm sunny day with good company and a cooler full of our favorite foods. Personally, my favorite Spring activities are the Sunday backyard brunch, and the sunny picnic at the park.

Maybe it’s that Cali sun, or that mild spring weather – either way, eating outdoors is a Californian tradition.  I have found that the perfect midday outdoor meal stays true to a few practices: picnic food is generally prepared early (so it can be packed away easily), easy to serve, and most importantly, ready to eat!  Because there is a ton of excellent food out there which is union made, I figured why not take the time create my own version of a union picnic?

By Sahid Fawaz

We at Labor 411 believe that consumer awareness and education are key to the success of the labor movement. We have no doubt that most Americans would choose union-made, American-made goods if only they knew which they were – and if they realized that buying those goods helps to support good middle class American jobs.

That is why we are spearheading the “Buy Union, Buy American” campaign! We are dedicating one week at a time to a specific union or group of unions by trade and highlighting the great products and services that they produce.

By Michael Messina

May 1 marks one of the most important days in the world of labor with International Workers’ Day. Fair labor practices are something every man and woman fights for, not just in the U.S., but around the globe. With the recent tragedy at the Bangladesh garment factory, there’s never been a better time to advocate for workers’ rights.

By Sahid Fawaz

Think all retail stores are the same? Think again. Here are four reasons why you should consider Costco over Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and other retail companies the next time you go shopping.

1. Costco pays its workers better wages

According to an in-depth Slate article:

A Sam’s Club employee starts at $10 and makes $12.50 after four and a half years. A new Costco employee, at $11 an hour, doesn’t start out much better, but after four and a half years she makes $19.50 an hour. In addition to this, she receives something called an “extra check”—a bonus of more than $2,000 every six months. A cashier at Costco, after five years, makes about $40,000 a year.

By Sahid Fawaz

One of the best ways to support the growth of the middle class is to support good quality jobs here at home. That is why Labor 411 is leading the movement to generate greater awareness of products made by union workers. Through our “Buy Union, Buy American” social media and web campaign, we hope to reach millions of consumers and educate them on the value of union-made products and services so that they can make informed decisions at the checkout stand.

Last week we kicked off the campaign with “Support Steelworkers Week.” We highlighted the products that their members make, ranging from tires to cookware to tools. The response was overwhelming and we ended up reaching over 300,000 people with our social media campaign. The increased awareness that we generated is a great first step in getting the word out about Steelworker-made products.

By Michael Messina

What do you picture in your head when you think of Rosie the Riveter? Is it the image to the right?

Recently I covered the Women Building California and the Nation conference in Sacramento and witnessed over 650 women of the trades from all over the country (and a few from Canada) come together in a fantastic display of solidarity and camaraderie. One image that cannot be avoided at such gatherings is that of the flexing woman in the red polka-dotted bandana proclaiming “We Can Do It!” Union workers are quite familiar with this image and often use it as a representation of the type of ethic that is overflowing in the world of organized labor. And they should. It’s the reason Labor 411 loves union-made products and services. But…

That is not Rosie the Riveter.

By Michael Messina

Enjoying the afternoon sun and looking forward to the weekend ahead, my mind turned to Mojitos, and my mouth began to water. Yum, Union-Made Mojitos. With the weather warming up it seems appropriate to start the refreshing-drink season with one of Labor 411’s most popular posts.

The mojito’s origins date all the way back to the 16th century when it was first called the Draque, and was rumored to have been invented by a pirate.

Melissa Bobrowicz

Do you love Pabst Blue Ribbon beer?

I, for one, never turn down a cold PBR.  And I’m no bandwagoner.

Consider now the second (or third, or fourth) coming of Pabst into mainstream culture, spearheaded of course by uber-trendy, image conscious millennials.

Sure, Pabst is definitely seeing a revival amongst the hip, but there is something to be said about a great tasting, quality beer at an amazing value. The fact Pabst Blue Ribbon is union made and distributed by the Teamsters?   That’s just the icing on the cake – or should I say cupcake?